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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 08/05/2010

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 358.13  Surface Temperature - 89

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.05  Surface Temperature - 89
Both lakes are one foot below summer pool and on a slow draw down.  Expect the lake levels to drop one foot during the month of August barring any unforeseen weather phenomena in accordance with the TVA River Operating Schedule.  
We have been in the midst of an excessive heat wave this past week with daytime highs near record levels the past few days and heat indexes well over 100 degrees during the afternoon hours.  A frontal passage today will give us a little reprieve from this heat on Friday and Saturday although daytime highs will still be in the 90's.  The present forecast shows that the higher temperatures will return beginning Sunday and into early next week.  

Anglers should be cautious of this excessive heat and humidity and take and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and don't forget the sun block when venturing on the lakes during the day.  This excessive heat and humidity has also spawned some isolated severe thunderstorms, especially during the late afternoon and early evening hours with locally high winds and dangerous lightning.  Anglers should keep and eye on the sky for approaching threatening storms and move to a safe port when you observe one of these nasty storms approaching.  
Our water temperatures are a few degrees higher than average with the excessive heat and although the TVA is still generating some current during the afternoon and early evening hours, the peak current flow rates have been less than in the previous two weeks.  The ledge fishing for bass remains spotty, especially during the periods of little or no current.  We are still getting some nice fish on the ledges but active feeds are spotty and short in duration.  

The best producing approach to catching the ledge fish right now is on slow presentations with Carolina rigs, Texas rigs, jigs and shaky heads.  Lower oxygen levels have the shad and the bass sluggish for the most part on the ledges right now and although we have experienced some short duration feeds, most of the bigger fish we are taking right now are single fish coaxed into biting with slow presentations.  Patience is key right now when ledge fishing and focus on your presentations as many of the bites are very light in nature.  

Some of the more active fish are actually being taken in the creeks and bays, especially early in the morning and late in the evening as they are feeding on schools of fry on the flats in the backs of the creeks and bays and on secondary points and channel banks where some of the larger fry are moving toward deeper water areas.  Although most of these more active fish are smaller bass, some nice ones are being taken.   
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes and in the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, tubes and worms, Texas rigged creature baits and worms, dragging football head jigs and on shaky head worms. 

Largemouth are also being taken in the creeks and bays, especially during the early morning and late evening hours, on the flats and also on secondary points and channel banks as they are feeding on schools of fry.  The shallow fish on the flats are being taken on topwater lures, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, shallow running crankbaits and lipless crankbaits.  The fish on the secondary points and channel banks are being taken on medium running crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Carolina and Texas rigged creature baits and worms, finesse jigs and shaky heads.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes on Carolina rigged creature baits and tubes, jigs and shaky heads during the day.  Most of the Smallmouth are being taken at night right now as is the nature of these fish to feed more at night during the hot weather months.
Night Bass Fishing:  Many anglers are now fishing at night for bass to avoid the daytime heat.  The night bite is being reported as feast and famine by most of the night time anglers.  Night anglers are taking both Largemouth and Smallmouth on main lake rocky and gravel points on dark colored spinnerbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits and tubes, finesse jigs and tube jigs as these fish are feeding on crayfish.  

Night anglers are also taking bass on the river and creek channel ledges at night on Carolina and Texas rigged creature baits and worms, jigs and shaky heads.  The night ledge anglers are reporting the best bite to be just after dark and just before daylight.
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Rebel pop r in black/chrome, Yozuri pop n splash in ghost lemon pattern, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer, rootbeer/chartreuse and splatterback, Rapala DT flatside in grey pearl shiner, Strike King red eye shad in sexy shad and chrome sexy shad, Slong's spinnerbaits and chatterbaits in blue glimmer, Charmer 10.5 inch ribbon tail and gator tail worms in plum and green pumpkin, Charmer timber pups on Carolina rigs and shaky heads in watermelon/purple and green pumpkin, Strike King rodent in amistad special on Carolina rigs, Zoom trick worms in green pumpkin on shaky heads, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin and green pumpkin/blue on shaky heads, Slong's football head jigs in phantom with matching Net Baits paca chunk and Strike King rage tail craw trailers and Last Cast hairy bug finesse jigs in green pumpkin and peanut butter jelly with matching Net Baits paca chunk trailers.
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken along the old river and creek channel ledges by vertically fishing with inline spinners, small spoons and minnow rigs.  White Bass are also being taken on the flats and around the mouths of the creeks and bays during current draw by casting inline spinners and small spoons.  Some jumps are being reported during current draw periods and these surface feeders can be taken by casting inline spinners, small crankbaits, small spoons and small surface poppers into the feeding schools.
Catfish:  Channel Catfish are being taken along the old river channels in 20-30 ft of water by bottom bouncing rigs baited with leeches/shrimp combinations as well as on bottom rigs baited with cut baits and leech/shrimp combinations.  Blue Catfish are being taken along the old river channels in 25-40 ft of water on bottom rigs baited with yellow tails and cut baits.  The Catfish are most active during the periods of current draw and at night.
Bluegill:  Bluegills are being taken on deep rocky creek channel banks and points near wood cover by vertically fishing small jigs tipped with worms.  Bluegills are also being taken at night around lighted deep water docks with wood cover.  These night feeders are being taken on worms and crickets fished under bobbers.

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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Don't have a boat?  No worries!  Bank fishing is always an option for panfish. But if you're heart is set on largemouth or smallmouth, you can rent a fishing boat at many of our local resorts!

The perfect place to start looking for a place to stay at Kentucky or Barkley Lakes?  Right here on our main lodging page.

Photo by Melodie Cunningham

When exploring the Elk and Bison Prairie in The Land Between The Lakes, it's always exciting to catch a glimpse of a bull like this one!